Wednesday, July 23, 2014

American-Israeli Politics: Where Bullying is Called Self-Defense

And I stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as it defends itself against this shocking violence.” Senator Cory Booker

“Israel is entitled to take the steps necessary to protect itself from destructive rocket attacks from Hamas that are aimed at all Israeli civilians, regardless of their religion,” said Senator Charles Schumer

"We support Israel's right to self-defense.” Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

It was General William Tecumseh Sherman, whom after conducting his devastating campaign against Georgia’s civilian population and burning the city of Atlanta, who said, “War is Hell.” This statement is likely the most concise and appropriate description of war recorded in modern history since the publication of Carl von Clausewitz's great military-theoretical classic On War published in the 1873.  I despise war and the carnage it results in regardless of the factions involved. But what is next in line that I personally find as upsetting, is the cosmetic over simplification used by many, often the oppressor in these exercise, to sanitize what is barbaric brutality in its purest form.

The recent re-start of the incessant military engagement between Israel and Gaza (one that has been going on since 1949), has reared its ugly head again. And as usual, the result is the same, the mass slaughter of mostly innocent civilians, mainly women and children, which outside of newspeak, resembles ethnic cleansing more than a military engagement. However, as noted in the opening quotes, it is the retro chic position of the moment to describe Israel’s actions as SELF-DEFENSE. This misappropriation of the term SELF-DEFENSE defeats reason, logic and any operational definition used in the past to define this action.
By definition, a noun, self-defense refers to the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe they are in danger. Consequently, the force used in self-defense may be sufficient for protection from said perceived harm such to stop any danger from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or the use of excessive force. Thus self-defense cannot include killing or great bodily harm to defend property or collective forms of punishment.
The present actions of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) do not meet any of the aforementioned operational definitions.  Even under the purview of “Just War Theory”, which asserts military personnel must take careful aim at his military target and away from nonmilitary targets, and one cannot kill civilians simply because he finds them between himself and his enemies. Simply not to intend the deaths of civilians is not the pragmatic objective in this sense, but rather paramount is to save civilian lives even if it means risking soldiers’ lives.

What is obviated from the discussion is that self-defense means that if the people of a nation are suffering aggression, oppression, or genocide, and are themselves capable of stopping it, they are morally entitled to respond militarily.  Unfortunately Israel cannot claim this position, given that aggression from another nation can only be described in self-defense if it is a last resort, which historically we hasn’t been the case (2012, 2008, etc.). In addition, the self-defense notion under the assumption of military action being a last resort cannot be met also because every other conceivable avenue outside of using military force has not been tried. Moreover, the kidnaping and murder of three innocent individuals, usually a police action cannot be perceived as a last resort or the impetus to start aggressive military action. But when these standards are not met, the result is Gaza: an innocent populous is the victim of a catastrophic attack
Another point of contention is that self-defense is virtuous and practical. What Israel is practicing is more like a George Zimmerman style of self-defense. Instead of self-defense, the actions of Israel are more akin to bullying. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullies intend to harm their targets and usually are continuous and sustained. This means that they (bullies) target their victims multiple times, frequently with the same act over and over. More importantly is that the bully intends to harm the target.
I say this because the assertion of self-defense avoids the historical reality of colonial occupation of Gaza by Israel which prevents effort on behalf of the Palestinians living in what has been described as an open air prison, the ability and human right to establish a proper, free society. If Israel was trying to avoid civilian deaths, they would and could, but this is not their desire. They are possessed with an evil dogma of annihilation similar to that we saw in South Africa during apartheid. Their objective is to destroy and kill all who are in the way of their imperialistic desire to control and occupy all of Gaza, inclusive of it rich natural gas and oil reserves. For example, it is a well-known fact that The IDF calculates the number of calories Gaza's civilian population needs to just survive on a daily basis and transports foods into Gaza accordingly. This is not self-defense, it is bullying with the objective to occupy territory accordingly break up the will and lands of the Palestinian people. Ironically, it closely the plan of Adolf Eichmann, the architect of ethnic cleansing, for Hitler. And anyone that cannot accept this, I’m cool, but facts are facts: Soweto 1976 is no different than Gaza 2014.

Since the 1990s, Israel has repeatedly failed to meet and even broke all of the conditions outlined in documented agreements with both parties.  They continue to play this shell game that gives them the privilege to ignore the natural human rights that Palestinians have like all other peoples in the world.  There is an aggression of the worse kind: one that indicates they will always be against a two-state solution, while knowing this is what the majority of Palestinians have agreed with and desire. They should just admit they desire to ethnic cleanse Gaza, and take thier oil and natural gas.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The False Gaza Narrative and the Dwight Coward Story

Used to be a time that African American athletes had character, integrity and stood on what was right more than how much they were paid.  This was also the period of intrepid investigative journalism.  Now, both have gone the way of extinction as it was with the dinosaurs at the close of the Mesozoic Era. Men such as Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, Tommie Smith and John Carlos are rare indeed today, as too are men like Dan Rather, Edward Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

As it stands, honesty and integrity, with the exception a few in the media and sports is dead and gone.  Now instead of reporting on the facts, we are often given scripted news reports, funneled from the top of some main office often word for word as dictated by the political powers that exist.  As such, today, with the exception of a Glen Greenwald, we would never have stories reported honestly in the manner in which Seymour Hersh reported on the My Lai Massacre in 1968. Seems as if with the exception of donating to charity, helping their neighborhoods few if any modern African American athletes have the courage to address controversial political issues, regardless of political affiliation. There are a few bright spots, like former NFL wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth, who frequently speaks out publicly about political issues, the economy and even the use of drones, but these individuals are few and far between in their respective fields.

Now why am I saying this? Well it seems as if the mainstream U.S. media is presenting a false narrative on the situation in Gaza.  No matter where you look the focus is on Israel, their right to self-defense and Hamas targeting the man-made nation state with hundreds of rockets.  Never is there a mention of the disproportionate number of air attacks the Israeli defense forces (IDF) rain incessantly upon innocent civilians, rarely are their pictures of the horrendous deaths on the mostly female and children civilians being ripped apart and rarely, is there any narrative to place the entire situation in  perspective.

They never mention that Palestine, or the people in Gaza do not have an Army, Navy or Air force, or that from 2009 to 2018, the United States has committed to GIVE Israel 30 billion in military aid. To be more exact over the past 60 years it is estimated that the U.S. has given Israel more than a quarter trillion in military aid. In 2013 alone the Obama administration sent Israel $3.1 billion in military aid. Israel has used white phosphorus on Palestinians before, and now it’s being reported by many officials that banned DIME weapons are being used against civilians in Gaza, a controversial weapon that emits super heated micro-shrapnel.

Outside of not providing any perspective, many media outlets even create the narrative against all evidence and fact. Fox news wrote a story called “Gaza rockets aimed at Israel: What would you do with just 15 seconds?” They also, fabricated a television byline using bombed building in Gaza destroyed by Israeli missiles with the caption: "Militants fire rockets on Israel." And it just isn’t Fox; Diane Sawyer of ABC News told its viewers that scenes of destruction in Gaza were in Israel. Ironically a segment in which the news anchor starts by saying “We take you overseas now to the rockets raining down on Israel today as Israel tried to shoot them out of the sky.” Next to her is video footage not of Israel or even Israelis, but rather of the destruction caused by IDF airstrikes on Gaza.

Now what does this have to do with sports and professional athletes? Well, on July 12, 2014, Dwight Howard, an NBA all-star who makes more than $21 million annually tweeted #FREEPALESTINE. However, within minutes, it is clearly the powers that be mad him reverse course for which I posted another tweet that read: “I apologize if I offended anyone with my previous tweet, it was a mistake.....previous tweet was a mistake. I have never commented on international politics and never will.” Why would this be so problematic for the star?

The great writer Voltaire wrote, "If you want to know who rules over you just ask yourself who cannot be criticized." Maybe it was NBA Commissioner Adam Silver or Leslie Lee Alexander, the owner of the Houston Rockets who made that telephone call, after all both are Jewish. In a similar vein, we know that Robert Allen Iger the current chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company (owns ABC) is also Jewish. Which gives substantial support to the premise of William C. Rhoden’s book, Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete: meaning the easiest answer is that is all about the money. Athletes or the owners, teams or leagues for which they play, do not want to lose it.

Clearly Dwight Howard had someone whisper in his ear, enough so to make him ask for forgiveness and beg for redemption in the manner in which slaves often were made to do so by their masters in the Antebellum south.  For a single moment, Howard was a man, and said what he realized was what was humane in his heart. But it only lasted long enough for master to crack that whip and return him to the coward he actually is.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I.O.U.: Iraq, Obama and Ukraine

President Obama’s team of national security advisers have a few bad poker hands they are in the process of playing. The first regards all the trillions they have spent on National Security and the NSA yet not foreseeing the collapse and routing of the U.S.trained Iraq Army forces by Sunni jihadists, and second, the blind eye turned toward the Ukraine by supporting Neo-Nazis whom just so happen to be conducting ethnic cleansing among the Russian speaking populous of the East. Although Obama has openly stated that his administration and national security staff has been working continuously on options for dealing with ISIS, and that he has proposed additional sanctions upon Russia, nothing has been done and nothing has been effective.

First looking at Iraq, albeit our problem began with President George W. Bush, Obama has done little to reduce the blood shed that has been occurring in Iraq for the past two years and like the mainstream news media, he and his administration have ignored all of the chaos in the nation and placed it on the back burner, as if it was a done deal and the war was over. This is one reason that the President was caught slipping and leaves the question, was it that they did not see this as a possibility of occurring, given how unstable the country has been since the U.S. appointed Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki took over? Or was it that the US intelligence community didn’t see the threat coming from ISIS? Either way, regardless of who is in the executive office, both are unacceptable. Moreover, things were made worse when last year, President Obama openly and falsely claimed and took credit for saying the war in Iraq was over, just as it was when Bush made the claim a few months after he started the war and again in2008.

Based on this alone, one should ask how can the U.S. administration install a friendly government in Iraq and but cannot even get them to accept to extend an agreement or form an inclusive government when you giving said nation billions annually? I know, defeats reason. The Obama administration explicitly detailed that he wanted such but in the same breath asserted they would scale back support involve if the Sadrists were a significant player in any Iraqi government: all in congruence with his desire to use both Iraq and forces on Syria at the forefront of his desire to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

Maybe we would be better off asking why any sensible person in leadership would commit more U.S. blood for a lost cause that was previously lost. To do such in any form or fashion is an embarrassment and exhibits that the administration’s policy was really no policy at all, but instead one without specific and tangible aims or outcomes. Let’s be clear, in a few days, the gains that America and coalition forces made over a decade of occupation, resulting in nearly 5,000 American lives and $3 trillion, are gone and we didn’t see it coming. Thus far, it is clear that the administration was moving the Iraqis faster than they should have seeing it is clear the military can’t function as a military.

But what is more troubling, is trying to figure out why Washington selected Nouri al-Maliki, after all he is one of the few Iraqi political leader who doesn’t have any clout, I mean, he doesn’t have a militia like other Iraqi leaders, does he? The fact is that Maliki is dependent on Iran for his power and Iran is backing Syria, both of which in many respects have been keeping him in power, I am sure Obama knew this, yet he appointed him against all the desires his Syrian and Iranian foreign policy wish to accomplish. The record shows that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with leaders of Arab countries in Saudi Arabia a few months backs in which all party’s agreed that ISIS in Syria and Iraq was a real threat, but no plan were developed on how to address these events.

And just like in Iran where Obama’s foreign policy is out of sync with the realities in the region, the same consistency is evident in the Ukraine. The entire world knows that Yanukovich’s democratically elected government was removed by military force instigated by right wing neo-Nazi and Neo fascist via U.S. and E.U urging. Yet, just like his administration was supposedly caught by surprise at the rate in which the well-armed and highly trained ISIS fighters took over Mosul, they said the same in February, when it failed to foresee the events in Crimea.  Likewise as we observed in Iraq and Syria, where the rise of ISIS negate Obama’s claims of a happy ending to the war in Iraq, the recent moves of Russia has proffered the same, moreover, it makes one query how effective will his success be in Afghanistan since he will employ a carbon-copy the of the same strategy for withdrawal there by 2016.

In the Ukraine, like Maliki at first, President Obama considers Billionaire Petro Poroshenko’s victory a good thing. Consequently, he immediately began bombing the Russia speaking regions of Donetsk and Lugansk to deal with the so-called “terrorist” with the approval of our Nobel Peace prize winning president. Even more peculiar is that through this support, Obama has placed his administration in violation of the U.S. law he has mentioned several times over the past six years that prohibits financially aiding any coup installed government such as the case in Ukraine. Think about it, the Obama administration didn’t see what happened in Egypt as a coup, so the military aid to Egypt kept flowing to the tune of $1 billion plus\.

As it stands, the Obama administration is in the midst of an extremely tenuous situation. The most significant is ISIS: especially not knowing the group’s true strength and how to respond. Particularly, the fact that the U.S. currently has NO intelligence on Abu Bakral Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who was once held by the US in Camp Bucca Iraq (the Obama administration shut down the Bucca prison camp and released its prisoners, including Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in 2009).

Now in Iran, Syria, Iraq, India, Egypt and the Ukraine, Russian foreign policy appears to be the lone consistent winner. Although President Obama has stated he will invest $1 billion in stepping up the US military presence in Eastern Europe based on the tension in the Ukrainian, since March, the White House has approved more than $23 million in security assistance to Ukraine and is now saying it will give Kiev an additional $5 million aid. Meanwhile, China and Russia are in the midst of a massive Gold buying spree plus the deals with the nations mentioned above, makes any sanctions mentioned by the present administration an effort in futility.

In all reality it was foolish for the President to promise the impossible of ending a war in which his policy has virtually flamed Sunni and Shiite sectarian violence. Then remains the question many have yet to ask, why was such a vile person considered fit to be released into the world, when times before at closings, administration’s would just relocate such person to Gitmo? Yes the administrations have some cards it must play and they may not produce a winning hand.  Bluffing and inconsistencies in foreign policy have seemed to put the U.S. all over the map. One the one hand  we are aware that the Iraqi leadership is backing Syria against the U.S. supported militants yet say little if anything about it, and on the other that Maliki continues to implement repressive attacks on and against Sunni in Iraq. In both Iraq and Ukraine, it may be best for the administration let things go as they will and take an I.O.U., because America has messed things up enough already in both regions.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Real Threat of undocumented Crossing is to Public Health

Now before some zealot, pro-black/pro-white only progressive liberal republican starts to attack me, I just want to say that I am pro-people, all people and that I practice the use of logic and reason as opposed to emotional invective to present my perspective on what think.  For the record, I am an infectious disease specialist, with a stern history of FUNDED research from institutions including but not limited to the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army Medical Research Centers and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.  My academic career began running a child survival and maternal health project for more than a year in South Eastern Nigeria with Africare, from which I would spend the next 16 years of my teaching and Research with the Emory University RollinsSchool of Public Health followed by a brief period with the Morehouse School of Medicine.

What I am interested in, is presenting a narrative that is not sensational enough for the mainstream media to detail, for it does not provide the entertainment values of protestors jousting for position like they were in some medieval arena.  Nor does it have the emotion required to engender the words racist, bigoted, or hatred, which seems to be top billing for most news outlets.

What is missed from the discussion of the tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S. border is the issue of public health.  Basic public health and safety (which in my locution are the same) should be the paramount concern addressed more than humanity, economics, mothers and even children.  Now I will say for the record, I have a problem with folk who have more compassion for people coming to the U.S. than the homeless veterans and children we have on our streets currently; and I find it funny that the folk who want to provide for these people (whom are definitely in need), are the same ones who will call the police on a homeless man asking for change, or who forget about the 1.6 million homeless children we have on our streets who were born in America, whom have yet to see the government provide for them in the manner in which these new arrivals have been provided for. And this is in particular directed to the black folk who display anterograde amnesia seeming to never ask for similar provisions for the 800,000 African American kids living on the streets. In the 2011 school year, enrollment statistics in preschools and K-12 programs reported a figure of 1,168,354 children in public schools known to be homeless. In the nation's capital alone, the Public School System reports that over 3,000 of its students are known to be homelessness. Plus, California, New York, Texas and Florida are among the hardest hit by the homeless youth crisis, and presently these states are also dealing with the brunt of the recent immigration influx.

Yet still, mine is one of public health. When I say public health, I am referring to the practice of protecting and improving the health of individuals, communities, and populations, locally and globally. This is accomplished via focusing on preventing disease and injury by promoting healthy lifestyles in concert with implementing educational programs and policies developed in an effort to achieve these goals: specifically, as they regard preventing and controlling the spread of infectious disease.

What has been barely mentioned with this massive surge in undocumented persons entering the United States, is the rate in which infectious disease, many of which are tropical, inundate theirhomelands. This is a threat that should be taken seriously and sounded so that all of the citizens in America can take the necessary preventive precautions.

With 52,000 plus and growing, it was only a matter of time before communicable illness started being documented among the new immigrants. Last week, San Diego’s Local 1613 of the National Border Patrol Council issued a press release announcing a Border Patrol Agenthad contracted scabies, a contagious skin infection caused by mites. This happened in connection with the transfer of detained illegal unaccompanied alien children from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, while they were being processed in Otay Mesa, California. Before this, an unaccompanied minor was hospitalized anddiagnosed with H1N1 (swine flu), after being housed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, a facility run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Also in Texas, U.S. Border Patrol agents in have discovered four cases of the H1N1 flu strain among illegal immigrant children held at two detention centers in Brownsville.

Not only have we seen the aforementioned, but California is in the middle of a whooping cough epidemic, with more than 3,500 cases of whooping cough reported between Jan. 1 – to June. During the last two weeks of June, the California Department of Public Health reported more than 800 new cases (more than all the cases reported in 2013).

I am not writing to scare anyone but rather to alert concerned individuals of the outcome that may happen if we continue to ignore the impact this mass immigration may have on public health outcomes in our community. These are just a few of what has been documented among others including chicken pox and MRSA staph infectionsI wont even mention Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Rift Valley fever,  Schistosomiasis or anti-biotic resistant TuberculosisThe reality is that these events have major and sever potential of becoming a public health crisis. In particular since that many of these individuals live in the tight spaces in which the children are contained on their way here and are housed in small congested areas in detention centers where they are housed in the U.S. Not only do these increase chances of spreading communicable diseases to other children but to border guards as well, and the general community within which they live.

So while you are caught up on the emotions of this issue, please do me a favor, and do take the time to educate yourself on what a disease pandemic, as a consequence of our porous borders, may mean you those already here in the United States.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Yale-Harvard Supreme Court: Us versus Them

Over the past few weeks, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has rendered several major decisions. These have either been applauded or vilified depending on which side of the political spectrum one is on. Personally, I could care less about the decisions, which from my perspective have less to do with legalities than compared to the tactics of divide and conquer as practiced by Oligarchs for centuries. But what is disturbing, is the sever lack of universal representation that currently, and in the past has comprised the jurist that sit on this nine person corpus.

Since 1956, at any given time, there have NEVER been less than three justices from Harvard and/or Yale sitting on the SCOTUS. And since the appointment of Anthony Kennedy in 1988, Harvard and Yale graduates in concert have comprised a majority of the court. When Elena Kagan was confirmed, it made all sitting on the SCOTUS had either attended Yale (Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Sonia Sotomayor) or Harvard (John G. Roberts Jr., Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer) for law schools. Can you say American aristocracy? 

I say this because in Washington of recent decades, it appears that the prevailing assumption as it pertains to the SCOTUS is that, the best minds and smartest people for the job graduate from either Yale or Harvard. Albeit a possibility of fanatical truism, in reality such never has, or will be the case. As such, unlike representative bodies like the Senate or the House of Representatives, the SCOTUS is not representative of AMERICA at all. Sure you got black and Latino persons, and some white men and white women, but that just doesn’t cut the cake and rather too simplistic in a diverse population inclusive of regional distinctions in thinking as ours.

This disproportionality in the number of justices from Harvard and Yale is frightening and should be to all. It is a form of legal aristocracy because there is none when it regards diversity of the legal educations of the folk who happen to be on the most important political body in our nation. I mean is it impossible to find a great and smart legal mind from the halls of Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, University of Virginia, William and Mary or the University of Tennessee? Nope, the Yaleharvarification of the SCOTUS aint about quality of the mind, but moreso of the Presidents whom appoint them and the legal field good ole boy network.

In simple terms, this is all about limited access networking. First, for the past 26 years every president has been a graduate of Yale or Harvard. This may be why among other things; all of the sitting members of the SCOTUS are either Catholic or Jewish. And it seems that all clerked on the Supreme Court once upon a time ago. If this constitutional republic is to function at full capacity and utility of its citizenry, diversity of education at the highest ranks of government, in particular the SCOTUS is paramount and a matter of survival.

When our elected officials, the folk who are responsible for making these sections and appointments to government positions we did not have a say of choosing and working on behalf of the citizenry, limit their pool to a small body, it works against the best interest of the nation. I mean, we saw what happened when African Americans and women were added, so why restrict the applicant pool in this instance?

The danger is that under the present results of this process, we get a narrower perspective on life because people in the restricted pool are reinforced to think the same and have more in common than different.

Imagine where our nation would be if we did this in all fields. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, Fred Smith of Federal Express attended the University of Memphis for his MBA, Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College and Warren Buffet went to University of Nebraska. I guess if you are starting a business or not looking for a job there are different requirements compared to obtaining a SCOTUS appointment. Could you imagine a field of Business dominated by just two schools? Oh that is right, you can, and well argue the observation in the affirmative since it were the Harvard and Yale Finance MBA’s that blew up and crashed Wall Street and the national and global economies.

Where would we be if science, technology and medicine operated in this manner? This would mean no University of Tennessee Medical Center or St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, no John Hopkins, Duke, Stanford, Cornell, Chicago, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, Cal Tech, MIT and Washington University in St. Louis.

The entire ideal of just two schools running the decision that will impact the entire nation is feculent. It is clear that other factors may be involved that may not even benefit the citizenry but rather the government and corporations since they are people now legally as a consequence of several recent court decisions. Most should be able to detect how many modern SCOTUS decisions benefit global plutocrats more than us, and in concert with the media and the criminal behavior of bankers and financiers; like the other two branches of our government, the SCOTUS seem to repeat a narrative of a future that George Orwell would have described as being manufactured to serve the interest of all and everything except justice, truth, virtue, and liberty. If my corollary is correct, this will not result in anything good for America.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

U.S. Foreign Policy: A Civil War Here, a Civil War There

I am so glad cats like John McCain and John Kerry didn’t win the Presidency. Likewise I am just as sad that George W. Bush and Barack Obama won the presidency and if there is a God, I am certain he would let Sponge Bob Square Pants ascend to the Presidency before Hillary Clinton. And all of this is stated in objective terms, the most prominent being that the Bush and Obama Administration’s foreign policy when implemented only results in civil war, no matter where it is practiced, but especially in the Middle East and North Africa.
Case in point, this past Sunday, during a joint press conference with Egypt’s newly elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, "The United States of America is not responsible for what happened in Libya, nor is it responsible for what is happening in Iraq today."  In the same briefing, he later stated, "US is not engaged in picking or choosing any one individual... it's up to the people of Iraq to choose their own leadership."
Both of these statements are a complete and utter ignorance of the facts from a historical and temporal context or either blatant lies. Although vilified for stating such, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei correctly accused Washington of just exploiting the violence in Iraq and Syria to regain control of Iraq by placing it once again under its [U.S.] hegemony” and rule of its stooges.” This has always been the premise of plutocratic desires under the storm cloud of nation building and implementing democracy, as amorphous a concept as it is. In 2003, I read that “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history” – Ari Shavit, April 5, 2003 Haaretz News Service-Israel. I find this statement, with the Semitic tone aside both accurate and consistent with history insofar as we can evaluate the aforementioned from the perspective of the foreign policy statements and practices of the last two U.S. executive administrations.
The general problem is that regardless of political affiliation, the neo’s (neoconservatives and neoliberals) have a greater concern in their corporate financiers interest than the citizenry of America, and this my friend is regardless of political party and or the race of the President. Their preference is to place an inordinate amount of focus and attention on places like Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine and other foreign nations, than the needs of U.S. citizenry. Instead, they apply the same standard to us as a foreign nation: drones, massive intrusive spying, domestic economic destabilization and labeling the average man a terrorist simply for exercising liberties guaranteed via the Bill of Rights.
This is clear to see for the thinking person.  Let us examine the first example of President George W. Bush and de-Baathification. Shortly after the fall of the Saddam regime, via L. Paul Bremer, as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), in one of his first things President Bush introduced was the de-Baathification program to remove members of the Ba’ath Party from their positions of authority and to ban them from future employment in government. They [the Bush Administration] selected Ahmed Chalabi to head of the De-Baathification Committee, which had the goals of preventing the Baath from regaining power, avoiding and retribution against Baathists and isolating the majority of Baathists from their party leaders.
This process of de-Baathification was supported via the forfeiture and seizure of all party assets and property, which was to be held in trust by the CPA for the use and benefit of the Iraqi people, albeit there were no real Iraqi citizens involved, just an Iraqi de-Baathification Council (IDC), composed entirely of Iraqi nationals formerly living in the U.S. and Europe mainly.
From the beginning de-Baathification was a very incongruent and f##ked up process for lack of a better phrase. Not only did it not achieve it aims, it also polarized Iraqi politics and worse, made the Iraqi military and government even more unstable after U.S. military intervention and occupation. Then it brought in al-Qaeda, to a region where it had never existed before as well as driving a wedge between Sunni, Shia and even Kurds in Iraq. And after all of this, Barack Obama came in, and when you thought his promise to end the war would make things much better, they actually followed the GWB foreign policy playbook and made things even worse.
Taking U.S. policy a step farther, the Obama Administration took up the doings of the fat cats of Saudi Arabia and Qatar along with big banks of the West and have in effect declared war on Shiites the world over. Now to be clear, I would like to see Obama, Bush, Cheney, Blair, Brown, Cameron, Rice, Kerry, Rice, and tried, as War Criminals and should be.
Kerry comments only reinforce the failures of America’s Manifest Destiny foreign policy. As such, no past Administration or current one will ever take responsibility for a foreign policy of endless wars of aggression and regime change. It may even be more appropriate to call U.S. foreign policy as the policy of civil war.  Where ever we insert our political nose abroad, the result is the destruction of a stable nation and civil war.  We see it now in the Ukraine where Obama supports the fascist Poroshenko’s new government, as well in the outcome via our interference in Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan or wherever the U.S./NATO decided to involve themselves without request. Again, categorically, I repeat, the US is responsible for Libya, Tunis, Egypt and Syria.
And now the fine mess of Obama policy has by intent, morphed into a sectarian Sunni versus Shia conflict. Strangely, all in nations for the most part which were secular governments. The Obama administration has consistently taken a foreign policy approach in the Middle East and Africa of over-throwing secular governments, this time it is Syria. This was done by intentionally arming and letting groups like ISIL grow stronger and stronger. He openly complains against Assad in Syria, and Iran, but ignores how Sunni leaders in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia violate the human rights of their majority Shia populations. Think about it, several months ago when the Iraqi government asked for U.S. airstrikes to repel ISIS, Obama refused, which was probably the first time he refused such an offer from an allied government. I mean, he didn’t even ask for approval to conduct illegal airstrikes in 8 other countries under the guise of fighting terrorism.  Even stranger was observing President Obama refusing to acknowledge that our closer allies in the region (Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia) have been giving hundreds of millions of dollars to the Islamic extremist terrorist group invading Iraq and attacking the Syrian government.
Lastly, the assertion that the U.S. believes that people have a right to decide if they wish to govern themselves is only true when the U.S. say’s so, for we have seen them place many in power whom the nations had no interest in being brought to power as we recently saw with Poroshenko in the Ukraine, Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq, Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and to a certain extent, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt. S###, the U.S. even installed Saddam Hussein.
American policy will never be in a position to address the multitude of issues in the Middle East whether it pertains to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Indo-Pakistani conflict, or the rise of Islamic radicalism in Pakistan, Yemen, or Somali. I don’t know what world Kerry and the present administration, nor the prior administration live. I guess it is like Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda for Hitler’s Third Reich said: “Tell a good lie enough times and people will think it is the truth.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dissent in A Fear Society

In his book THE CASE FOR DEMOCRACY, Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet political prisoner released from prison by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986 wrote “A society is free if people have a right to express their views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm.”  He also added, “A society that does not protect dissent will inevitably be based on fear.” Although it is clear his perspective is based on his personal experience growing up as a Jew in the former Soviet Union, it strikes me as if he is writing about America today.

Since the start of this century, the focus of the US federal government, in all aspects has been directed toward encouraging uniformity and conformity, in view, belief and idea of all its citizens, specifically by playing on the emotional projection of being either “with or against us.”  This mentality gained its maximum utility of expected outcomes when the U.S. began its famed “war against terror.” Terror being singularly contrived from emotion representing in its basic understand an extreme fear. I say this because no two individuals, let alone all humans for that matter are the same.  Some may have an extreme fear or water, others may not; some may have an extreme fear of snakes and insects, others may not. However, this is the desire of the powers that function in the highest capacity of both political and corporate leadership in America. 

Now there are many that would argue against my thesis, however, they would most be those individuals that consider themselves progressive and would in the same sentence disavow the historical truth that their views are rooted in socialism, specifically cultural Marxism. They will also in the same sentence admit that no one has the same identical experiences, backgrounds, views, preferences and/or intelligence, yet cannot accept that others may not agree with them based on the aforementioned. The point being, the notion of a complete and uniform homogenous society defined by a severe ideological commitment to uniform collectivist values, ideas, views and beliefs is as realistic as the Easter bunny.

The reality of individual differences I speak of is a social pariah in today’s America. Dissent, even based on fact or personal view is currently equated to being the enemy. And there are many examples to this. Let’s us take global warming for example, which has been conveniently changed to climate change. Now from my experiences and readings, I understand that even before the Wurm glaciations (before man existed), there has always been climate change on the Earth – this is a scientific fact. However, with this said, if I don’t accept it is due to man, or that no single factor has ever been the sole cause of any phenomena, I am ridiculed by the majority; and instead of being disproven by discourse and data, called names and ridiculed.

For me, not relying on the words of a politician, specifically that carbon is a pollutant and man is the SINGLE cause of these changes, is my death nail. Why because in my argument I include the sun and its recent periods of strong coronal mass ejections and solar radiation storms, stronger solar flares and increased UV radiation of the past few decades, in formulating my perspective. I also include the observation that these events we experience Terrestrially cannot be caused by man or “carbon pollutants” alone if it is well documented they are occurring on Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto (Pluto is undergoing global warming, as evidenced by a three-fold increase in the planet’s atmospheric pressure during the past decade plus), Mars, Triton (Neptune’s largest moon), and other celestial bodies which don’t have SUVs or humans driving them. 

And don’t ask them to compare the Carbon dioxide rates of Venus to Earth in terms of Carbon dioxide density, then they only curse more for you having dissenting and differing ideas of your own. Especially if you ask, if Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Triton all "appear" to be warming, how can we be sure that Global Warming is man-made let alone a function of carbon dioxide emissions? The only response one in my experience would get are vehement attacks on charcter but not facts, simply because I trust physicist and MIT over Al Gore and Barack Obama.

Like the war on terror, this entire man-made carbon is a pollutant (when carbon is organic and not inorganic) is fatuous and typical of a fear based society just like the war on terror. This is also observed even with regards to basic beliefs. If you do not agree with gay marriage or homosexuality one is called a homophobe simply for not believing in the practice.  Personally it is like saying because I hate the Dallas Cowboys (which I do); I am a footballphobe – complete and utter idiotic nonsense. The way I see, one can believe what they want, and I can listen or accept or disagree, but just because we have different views don’t make me think you are stupid or less than those who agree with me.

See America, we are not as free as we think in this constitutional republic. Whether folk can see it or not, this nation is teetering on the brink of tyranny. Yep, I said it. If one is chastised for not accepting what others say you should accept, or believe what the middle of the normal distribution say you should, and you are punished for such, that my friend is tyranny of the fascist order. Don’t take my word, recently a former vet was arrested and called mentally ill  for voicing his views against the government on Facebook, and now, The Obama Administration via Eric Holder will be implementing a program designed to punish and imprison folk for thought that they see and deemas disagreeable.  And this isn’t from Orwell’s 1984. 

We have these behaviors now because most folk do not think for self and have instead been indoctrinated into what to believe. As such, when they do think, it is merely an amalgamation of generalizations and stereotypes which are not grounded in research or fact, but rather due to their learned irrational natures and simple mindless. Consequently, when their beliefs are questioned and/or challenged, if they cannot ignore you, they take it as a personal attack to defend the status quo, they call you intolerant and prejudice just because they don’t understand specific distinctions or nuance or from a personal point of view, they just hate to be wrong, because that in their minds such makes them feel as if they are not important.
This is what happens in a fear society, when you do not agree you are the bad person - the enemy. All that matters, even if they know they are being controlled and their thoughts are not their own, is that those they acknowledge the power that makes them feel important, correct and even worse – knowledgeable.
America from this perspective is moving away from a free society because dissent and differing views and beliefs are no longer tolerated or accepted. And the folk who accept this would never dare to accept or think that their government, like the intellectuals under Stalin, or the scientific class of Iran in the early 1980s, would ever think of doing such. But that is how it is done, it isn’t call TV programming by accident, nor is by chance that major news outlets glorify the masses on behalf of the corporate and political class.

So if you did not know, now you should, but I suspect most will ignore the wisdom in this tractate and cut on their idiot box and talk about shit they don’t know what the fuck they talking about as if they really know. And I have no problem with saying what I believe, for as it was once written, you make enough laws we all can be criminals and this my friend, is a risk I can live with as a free thinker.